Are You Compliant With Fish Food Packaging Label Guidelines?
When you're packaging fish food, you should always consider whether the labeling guidelines you are using are compliant with federal and state laws. Depending on the quantity you're selling, this can be anything from the usual paper labels added to the bottom of a 50# feed sack, to specific requirements that the label fill a certain percentage of the container's surface. These regulations also dictate what information must be included on the label for consumer use. Here's a quick look at the federal guidelines, as well as the most common state guidelines for aquafeed labeling.
Are you compliant?
The requirements for animal feed labels from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are simple but can be confusing because of their ambiguity. The FDA website simply states that "an animal food label should contain information describing the product and any details necessary for the safe and effective use of the food." The actual federal code however, found in Title 21 CFR 501, offers a lot more information.
Required items on the label in most states
Federal law usually does not offer all the necessary info consumers need to optimize nutrition in the fish they are feeding. That is why most states have a range of additional requirements which can typically be found on the website of that specific state’s Department of Agriculture. Another way to discover what these requirements are, is by contacting your local Agricultural Extension office. Here`s a quick list of the items required by most states. Bear in mind that your state may have different or additional requirements.
- Brand Name: This differentiates your specific aquafeed from the others on the market that are similar or may have a similar product name.
- Product Name: The product name. What are you selling? Is it a general aquafeed or specialized for a particular breed?
- Purpose Statement: What is the purpose of the aquafeed? This statement should include what species it`s intended for and in what situations.
- Guaranteed Analysis: This covers the bare minimum of what is guaranteed to be in the aquafeed, such as fats, protein and other nutritional information.
- List of Ingredients: What is in your aquafeed? This is the location where all the ingredients should be included. For example, if you`re putting together a ration for salmon that includes Red #40 to improve fillet color, that must be included on the label.
- Directions for Use: How much fish food should be fed and how often? The directions help you provide appropriate instructions for the user so they provide the right amount of aquafeed.
- Warning or Caution Statements: Are there situations where your aquafeed should not be used, such as during spawning or other sensitive points in the fish lifecycle? Include them here.
- Name and Address of Manufacturer: This is your company`s name and contact information, so that either the consumer or government agencies can contact you should any issues arise.
- Quantity Statement: How much is being purchased? For fish food, this is typically determined by weight, as settling during shipment and storage makes sale by volume difficult.
Other information you may want to include
Though many aquafeed companies display the bare minimum of information, some have decided to stand out by printing additional info to boost sales. This can include any number of options, but provides a great marketing opportunity for the company. Are you only using organic or natural food stocks in your aquafeed? Is it designed to increase growth rates by providing higher percentages or easier to digest proteins? If your feed recipe makes your products special, you`ll want to market that difference to take advantage of higher price points.
If you`re producing fish food and want to ensure that you can provide the required label information quickly and easily. Adifo`s comprehensive feed formulation software automates the process, making it simple to meet your labeling requirements.